Sunday, 13 November 2011

Fresh Rice Salad

What you need (serves four people) :
- a handful (or mug) of rice, per person
- pickled red peppers (a jar), and one small, fresh red bell pepper
- parsley, ruccola, dill
- peanuts (preferably unsalted)
- sweet corn
- a handful of black olives (if you can get the ones with the kernels removed, it helps)
- some good old extra virg, vinegar, salt and pepper

Boil your rice the usual way, salting it lightly. Meanwhile, you need about 4 pieces of pickled pepper from the jar - chop them up finely, and set aside. Chop up the herbs and the fresh pepper. I should probably mention all the quantities were to taste, so everything is rather arbitrary :)) either way, prepare your ingredients (corn, peanuts, pepper etc) to taste, but make sure they won't overpower the rice. Once the rice is cooked, drain it and let it cool off a bit. Then throw it back into a bowl or pan, add the peppers, peanuts (i used a handful), corn (i added 3-4 spoons to my salad), olives and herbs. You need to dress the salad as you would a normal green salad, but you need to increase the proportion of the acid in the dressing for this one, as the rice soaks up much of the vinegar. Season the dressing to taste, then add to the salad and mix. Taste it, make sure there's a hum of vinegar in each bite, but it shouldn't be overpowering. You can probably use the seasoned vinegar inside the pickled pepper jar (if it's good quality) to make the dressing, too, or just use some of it to top up the salad if the vinegar isn't strong enough.
This, of course, is just the basic version. Feel free to add cucumber, tomatoes, really anything you fancy as long as you keep it fresh and delicious.

Enjoy!  S x